August 2008

News to me that publishers are to introduce an age system on books similar to the age system on DVDs. It could be argued that they need some sort of system, why not everything else seems to have one? But I believe it is a wrong move. Putting an age on books limits them and defines them in a wrong way. Reading of books seems to be declining and we shouldn’t be putting obstacles in front of people.


Reading in a paper this weekend I see Political Correctness strikes again as a Muslim oriented sketch on a new ITV2 show is removed because it may offend people. Apparently is was removed on the advice of Lawyers, without any proof but similar to the dropping of the book by the author Sherry Jones, because it might cause offence. But I suppose that is the root of political correctness: it’s never about anything that is, it’s always about maybe, perhaps, could. That is no way for any law to be – although I’m not sure if political correctness has any basis in law or any legal standing. But it works, it stops things. Mainly through fear. And fear is no basis for any law.

Ok, so Lightwave 9.5 is so cool. In particular the new FiberFx, which is a hair/fur system that is intuitive, flexible and very powerful. It took a little while to find as Newtek neglected to include the documentation for it. I found a pdf file on the internet which give more information and help. It mentions there are four plugins for the system but I only seem to have two. After a little fiddling around I was able to create the hair/fur quite quickly and easily. And you can use the plugin on practically an object.

Results of using the new FiberFX plugin in Lightwave 9.5

Results of using the new FiberFX plugin in Lightwave 9.5

The image above is the result of about half an hour’s work.  A few minutes in LWCAD and the house was available, a couple of textures later and then I was playing around with the FiberFX plugin, which is very easy to use and all the options are well laid out. The whole plugin is a breeze.

Cool. I got the 9.5 update to Lightwave and it no longer gives an error when closing the program. This was (according to the Lightwave Forums) due to LWCAD and a long standing issue. Modeller now exits politely and Vista doesn’t say the program has stopped responding and it’s gathering data, wont be a few minutes but seems to take forever.

I don’t know if I’m the only one pissed off with that feature in Vista. It is very annoying. When Vista closes a program I expect it to close the program, look for reasons why it closed on your own time. Don’t stick a dialogue in the middle of my screen and expect me to leave it alone.

Aside from that there seems to be mainly under the hood improvements in Lightwave. it is after all going from version 9.3 to 9.5. in thery they should be happy with this version and so should the users until Newtek bring out version 10 and a whole new bunch of bugs. Only joking. All in all it looks good. The read me file consisted of a great long list of ‘fixed bug…’ so there has been a lot of work put into this upgrade. The final free one before they ask customers to shell out again.

There is supposed to be some pdf files installed in the documentation but the link is invalid. I’ve checked the Lightwave Forums and other people have encountered it too. It’s a pdf file for FiberFX, which is a new hair and fur system in 9.5.  There’s also a new lighting system in Lightwave and I hope to have time to check that out over the weekend.

The Nautica 05 theme is great. But I felt that I needed some more flexibility about what is presented to the browser of the site.

I couldn’t do that without hacking the php code, and that’s not the top priority I have. I hacked the theme to make it look presentable but it lacked the ability to show previous posts and it didn’t have the widgets ability that a lot of WordPress themes have.

It was only browsing across the web that I came across the site I am now using. I was looking for quick ways to change themes, particularly adding comments to the sidebar.  Via some links I came across the xMark theme by Lisa Sabin-Wilson – the author of the WordPress for Dummies book.

I downloaded it and played around with it and it seemed to offer all I wanted in a theme; in particular the widget capability of the sidebar, which brings drag and drop functionality to added widgets.

A quick mess around in Photoshop later and the header picture contained a pic of Shadow Devil.

The site looks a lot better, so much so that I’m thinking of adding pages and moving the whole thing to the root directory.

I was surprised to read the Random House in America have put on indefinite hold a novel because it might cause offence to Muslims. A journalist has written a novel about Mohammed and his first wife A’isha. The Author, Sherry Jones, herself says the book is respectful. Obviously no one will have the chance to find out if she was telling the truth or not.

There has apparently been some online debate about the novel before it was to be published but that is no excuse for a major publisher to loose their bottle and bow to a non existent pressure.

What is surprising is that this decision was taken in (and announced on) May, yet is being reported by papers now, early August.

Gadzooks! I’ve done very little with Antics 3.1 and version 4 was released on Friday (1st of August). I haven’t had a chance to download the professional version upgrade yet (which I have) but I did download the home version for the office.

The addition of shadows is a small but immense improvement. The home edition loses the ability to import some file formats,  but it isn’t too important for the use of Antics.

Hopefully I will be able to download and it further explore next week.

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